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Master Geek
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Topic # 127326 6-Aug-2013 15:17
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Work at a small office with 16 desktop clients and 4 servers, we're finding a lot of issues with using Webex and Skype of late so the boss has asked me to think about trying to improve performance.

We've got a decent Internet connection (10Mbps) but use a lot of cloud services, remote desktop and Voip. Webex, in particular struggles sometimes.

I'm thinking there are two bottlenecks, our old TP-Link ADSL gateway which is providing wireless, DHCP/DNS to all clients (even though we using Fibre now instead for Internet), and the HP 1410-16G switch. 

I'm on the lookout now for a decent 24 or 32 port switch thats managed and will help us with our Voip experience hopefully through better QOS. Also might see can we design three Vlans of sorts to segregate traffic. Plus give us additional ports for new staff and let others get off wireless.

So wondering what peoples experiences and recommendations for a new switch would be? and am I right to think its the switch or the old tp-link router that might be our bottlenecks here?

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  Reply # 872718 6-Aug-2013 15:31
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Hi, would be surprised if the switch was the current issue, I would look at improving internet speeds if cloud services are the primary feature, 10Mb/s across 16 users is not likely to cut the mustard.

Obviously if you are putting a lot of those services via the wireless then those two will suffer, a decent dual band commercial AP is probably the go, UniFi is probably a good option here.

Cyril

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  Reply # 872724 6-Aug-2013 15:46
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10Mbps for a cloud-centric environment is going to struggle. If you're using WebEx with both audio & video, that can require anywhere from about 200kbps to 2Mbps per session. You only need a couple of users in a webex video session, and someone downloading a couple hundred MB installer and your connection is probably going to throw it's hands up in a spaz. You've said you're on fibre, so I'd suggest replacing the TP-Link and going to a 30Mbps fibre connection.

The 1410-16G has more than enough throughput for your requirements based on your posted information. That said, QoS would help if you are trying to ensure reliability of certain services (like VOIP) at the expense of other activities that are going on. You'd want whatever device is managing your internet connection to handle this, as it is unlikely to be LAN traffic that is the issue.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 872725 6-Aug-2013 15:46
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Really I thought 10Mbps would be ok between us, perhaps its not as great as I thought.


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  Reply # 872726 6-Aug-2013 15:46
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Also, you say a 10Mbps ADSL connection - your downlink will be 10, but your uplink will be 1 tops, so a few users using cloud services AND trying to use any form of VoIP will be enough to kill the connection causing issues...   

Upgrade the wifi to a Unifi as suggested, and get VDSL/fibre if possible.  Upgrading your uplink will show improvements.


EDIT: oops, just re-read post, you mention fibre ?  Still, a 10 pipe will suffer...





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 872732 6-Aug-2013 15:55
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Yep Actrix Fibre I think. Its showing approx 9Mbps up and down right now from Speedtest.com.

Ok maybe I'll look into improving our plan before I look at the network hardware. I thought a better switch might be in order.

Regarding the TP-Link, its got the WAN cable from our ISP and another cable just going to the HP Switch so we're just using it for DHCP, DNS, Firewall and some port forwarding for SSH etc. It does feel like a "home" grade router but seems to do its job OK.

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  Reply # 872742 6-Aug-2013 16:06
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Atlanta55: Yep Actrix Fibre I think. Its showing approx 9Mbps up and down right now from Speedtest.com.

Ok maybe I'll look into improving our plan before I look at the network hardware. I thought a better switch might be in order.

Regarding the TP-Link, its got the WAN cable from our ISP and another cable just going to the HP Switch so we're just using it for DHCP, DNS, Firewall and some port forwarding for SSH etc. It does feel like a "home" grade router but seems to do its job OK.


+1 for Unify
You could upgrade the switch with VLAN's as discussed for Q0S or VoIP services.

I happen to have a 24port Allied Telesys AT-x600-24p if you want.

-Al

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  Reply # 872745 6-Aug-2013 16:08
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PPS: Some routers support SNMP so you cant see whats going on with your WAN useage.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 872748 6-Aug-2013 16:12
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Yes i've enabled SNMP and played with PRTG the other day to take a look at what kind of bandwidth was being used by what app, you could clearly see spikes during Skype and Webex sessions, the other HTTP traffic for our other cloud services doesnt register much at all really. I couldnt get PRTG to show me much else of use.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 872763 6-Aug-2013 16:40
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So you're not using any bandwidth management at all?

I'd put something at the gateway that can measure the bandwidth you're using. No info means blind guess work and performance problems to follow.

I would avoid Wi-Fi where I can, and remember desktop 16's Wi-Fi adapter might not see desktop 1's and hidden node will start to cause performance issues too.

The VoIP side of things, is this being done over Wi-Fi? I would only use iLBC codec's over Wi-Fi, I find the rest perform really poor with packet loss when there's any radio interference.

edit: and remember Wi-Fi is simplex/half duplex when considering bandwidth totals.






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 872765 6-Aug-2013 16:49
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Wifi's only being used for staff mobiles and tablets, not much at all.

Yeah no bandwidth management right now. Not sure what to do with that.

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  Reply # 872773 6-Aug-2013 17:31
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I have almost no doubt your switch has anything to do with your performance issues. I would get a better router with more advanced quality of service and a faster internet connection (100mbps isn't expensive these days).





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  Reply # 874285 8-Aug-2013 22:33
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Atlanta55: Yep Actrix Fibre I think. Its showing approx 9Mbps up and down right now from Speedtest.com.

Ok maybe I'll look into improving our plan before I look at the network hardware. I thought a better switch might be in order.

Regarding the TP-Link, its got the WAN cable from our ISP and another cable just going to the HP Switch so we're just using it for DHCP, DNS, Firewall and some port forwarding for SSH etc. It does feel like a "home" grade router but seems to do its job OK.


Well it seems the router is NOT doing its job ok, doesn't it? 10Mbps should be enough, but will require QoS to get the VoIP working properly.

You may still be able to configure priority for VoIP traffic, which should be absolute highest priority, a lesser priority for webex and any other realtime stuff like terminal server etc, and lowest priority for everything else. Your ISP will be able to advise whether they prioritise the downstream VoIP traffic. They may even be able to provide and configure VoIP services for you as a managed service and/or setup a VLAN for the VoIP.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 874491 9-Aug-2013 11:41
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Ordered 100Mbps fibre from Actrix so hopefully Webex will fly along. 

Still want to replace switch to give us more ports, havent bought one in years, any recommendations to make/model? 24 Port will be fine. 

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  Reply # 874495 9-Aug-2013 11:44
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Assuming you want managed, Cisco or HP. I still think you should look at a more suitable router, though.




Windows 7 x64 // i5-3570K // 16GB DDR3-1600 // GTX660Ti 2GB // Samsung 830 120GB SSD // OCZ Agility4 120GB SSD // Samsung U28D590D @ 3840x2160 & Asus PB278Q @ 2560x1440
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 874496 9-Aug-2013 11:46
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Cisco or allied telesis for about half the price.

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